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The Hepworth Wakefield Garden, Spring 2022. Photo: Katy Merrington
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The Hepworth Wakefield Garden

The Hepworth Wakefield Garden is open daily and free to enjoy.

The Hepworth Wakefield Garden

The Hepworth Wakefield Garden, designed by internationally acclaimed landscape architect Tom Stuart-Smith, is free for all to enjoy.

As well as Stuart-Smith’s distinctive planting, there are outdoor sculptures by Sir Michael Craig-Martin, Barbara Hepworth and Kim Lim.

Tom Stuart-Smith’s design draws inspiration from its unusual setting between 19th-century red-brick mills and a 21st-century art gallery, edged by the River Calder. It echos the striking, angular shapes of the David Chipperfield-designed gallery while harnessing a naturalism that reflects Barbara Hepworth’s deep connection to the landscape.

Find out about the story of The Hepworth Wakefield Garden here.

Sculpture in the garden

Ascending Form (Gloria), 1958

Barbara Hepworth

Wakefield Permanent Art Collection (The Hepworth Wakefield), Donated by Eric and Jean Cass through the Contemporary Art Society 2010

The two diamond shapes in Ascending Form (Gloria) can be seen as representing natural forms, with the one growing organically out of the other, or as a reference to hands coming together in prayer.

One of her most frequently recurring subjects was the standing form, which she related to the feeling of a human figure in the landscape.

Read more about Barbara Hepworth here.

Pitchfork (Yellow), 2013

Sir Michael Craig-Martin

Courtesy of the artist and Gagosian

This 4m yellow pitchfork stands tall amongst the trees in the garden. It is taken from a series of giant and brightly coloured painted steel sculptures that resemble commonplace objects.

Appearing like drawings in the air, Craig-Martin’s deceptively simple sculptures pose questions about the role that objects play in our everyday lives.

Hear Michael Craig-Martin describe his sculpture in this short film.

Day, 1966

Kim Lim (1936–1997)

Acquired with the support of the Contemporary Art Society, 1983

This work, Day, which is made from painted steel, was conceived as an outdoor sculpture. The tall arch not only acts as a sun dial casting shadows to gauge the time of day and year, but its elongated form and curved crest echo the elliptical orbit of the earth around the sun.

The acquisition of Day into Wakefield collection in 1983 was prompted by Lim’s close alignment with the sculptural ethos of Barbara Hepworth, as both artists shared a mutual concern for the relationship between abstraction and the landscape.

Gabriel Reaching for Heaven, 2022

A major new commission by Sheila Hicks

To coincide with Sheila Hicks’ first major UK retrospective, we have commissioned Hicks to create a new outdoor sculpture for our garden. This five-metre-tall column entitled Gabriel Reaching for Heaven, 2022 is made from a cascade of coloured cords.

Since the 1970s, Hicks has exhibited her work outdoors in both urban and rural settings that include the gardens at the Palace of Versailles, Paris and the High Line in New York. Hicks’ commitment to engaging with the public realm has been expanded through her work with innovative textile producer Sunbrella to develop weather resistant fibres. Hicks’ outdoor works push pigmented fibres to their physical and conceptual limits, creating soft architectural inventions in form and vivid colour.

Our changing display of sculptures in The Hepworth Wakefield Garden has been generously supported by:

John Ellerman Foundation

Mtec

In bloom - May

Omphalodes cappadocica ‘Cherry Ingram’

Omphalodes cappadocica ‘Cherry Ingram’ is also known as navelwort and many visitors to the garden ask us about this plant as it is so striking with its vivid blue blooms. Omphalodes prefers dappled shade, where it has a long flowering period, giving a forget-me-not effect to the early months of the year.

Tulips

Thousands of tulips are planted between our herbaceous perennials, with over 20 different cultivars in bright shades of purple, pink, burgundy and lilac. See if you can spot the near black tulip ‘Paul Scherer’. Or the colour changing ‘Shirley’, which begins pale white and gradually develops a purple edge, as if coloured-in with pencil crayon. ‘Bleu Aimable’ is another beauty and one of the last to flower in metallic pale lilac.

Knautia macedonica

Macedonian scabious have tall airy stems which support little crimson flowers above the foliage. They are a magnet for bees and butterflies and flower from May onwards.

Epimedium × perralchicum ‘Fröhnleiten’

When the heart shaped leaves of Epimedium first emerge, they are delicate and covered in fine downy hairs. They slowly turn from maroon red to green and as they year progresses, they become papery in texture, like baking parchment. This hardworking variety thrives in shady areas under our tree’s canopies and is evergreen all year long. The dainty yellow flowers stand up above the foliage.

Diary of a Cultural Gardener

Between May 2019 and May 2021, Katy documented her work in a monthly diary to offer a little glimpse into life in The Hepworth Wakefield Garden.

View all of Katy’s diary entries here.

Help Katy care for The Hepworth Wakefield Garden

We have transformed a strip of unused land into a beautiful flower-filled garden, free for all to enjoy. As a living composition, the Garden requires daily care and attention to ensure it remains an urban oasis for everyone.

If you are able, please support this work. Any donation, no matter the size, makes a real difference. Please donate here.

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